I am currently studying the factors that motivate students to use an online homework management system. My courses are designed around the online homework management system. The first week of the course, students complete the modified Unified Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) survey, the Need for Cognition (NFC), and Computer Self-Efficacy survey. These provide the data regarding the factors proposed to motivate students to use the online homework management system. The UTAUT provides a measure of the student’s performance expectancy (if they think the OHM will help them to earn a better grade), effort expectancy (if they think the OHM will be easy to use), expectancy regarding facilitating conditions (if they think they will have the support they need to use the OHM), and the social influence (whether the instructor and their classmates think they should use the OHM). The NFC survey measures the student’s intrinsic motivation to think and learn. The Computer Self-Efficacy survey measures the student’s perception of their ability to use a new technology.
For each chapter, students first complete a pre-test. The pre-test contains questions covering each of the chapter’s objectives and measures the student’s understanding of the chapter concepts before they have been covered in class and any homework has been completed. Students earn minimal points for taking the pre-test, regardless of their score. The OHM builds an individualized study plan based on the score for the pre-test. For each objective for which the student did not show mastery, the OHM will build a study plan of questions, exercises and problems to build knowledge of that objective.
The students are instructed that they are to work in their individualized study plans until they feel that they have mastered the concepts. Students earn points for work in the study plan based on (a) the number of problems worked relative to the total problems in the study plan; (b) the amount of time spent in the study plan; and (c) proven mastery of the majority of the chapter objectives.
Once students feel they have mastered the chapter concepts, they move on to the post-test for the chapter. The post-test can be completed multiple times before the due date/time. Students are instructed that if they score below 85% on the post-test, they should go back to the study plan focusing on the objectives missed on the post-test.
The research questions are:
1. Do students with higher Performance Expectancy work a higher percentage of the study plan problems/spend more time working in the study plan?
2. Do students with lower Effort Expectancy work a higher percentage of the study plan problems/spend more time working in the study plan?
3. Do students with higher Facilitating Conditions expectancy work a higher percentage of the study plan problems/spend more time working in the study plan?
4. Do students with higher Social Influence perception work a higher percentage of the study plan problems/spend more time working in the study plan?
5. Do students with higher Need for Cognition work a higher percentage of the study plan problems/spend more time working in the study plan?
6. Do students with higher Computer Self-Efficacy work a higher percentage of the study plan problems/spend more time working in the study plan?
7. Are there significant relationships between any of the proposed motivitating factors?
I am currently collecting data and will report my findings soon. I would like to extend the study beyond my classes. I am currently studying accounting classes. It might be interesting to study different types of classes.
The next stage of my research will also include a study of the impact of self-efficacy regarding the class on the use of the OHM. For example, do students who think they can learn accounting use the OHM more than students who perceive they will not be able to learn the material? Additionally, I want to study the impact of the performance on previous units on future units. Does the performance on the first test motivate students to use the OHM more/less? Does actual performance change a student’s self-efficacy regarding the class? Are students able to accurately predict their grade on a test?